Thursday March 23rd, 2023 7:45AM

GOP, Democrats notch victories in competitive midterm races

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

WASHINGTON (AP) — Control of Congress hung in the balance early Wednesday, with both parties notching victories in some of the most competitive races in a midterm election that centered on voter frustration over high inflation and the sudden rollback of abortion rights.

Democrats held a crucial Senate seat in New Hampshire, where incumbent Maggie Hassan defeated Republican Don Bolduc, a retired Army general who had initially promoted former President Donald Trump’s lies about the 2020 election but tried to shift away from some of the more extreme positions he took during the GOP primary. Republicans held Senate seats in Ohio and North Carolina.

A district-by-district fight was underway for control of the House, where Democrats held closely watched seats in moderate suburban districts from Virginia to Kansas and Rhode Island. Rep. Elaine Luria, a Navy veteran who serves on the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection, was the first Democratic incumbent to lose a highly competitive House district. Many of the districts that could determine House control in states like New York and California had not been called.

The outcome of races for House and Senate will determine the future of President Joe Biden’s agenda and serve as a referendum on his administration as the nation reels from record-high inflation and concerns over the direction of the country. Republican control of the House would likely trigger a round of investigations into Biden and his family, while a GOP Senate takeover would hobble Biden’s ability to make judicial appointments.

Democrats were facing historic headwinds. The party in power almost always suffers losses in the president’s first midterm elections, but Democrats had been hoping that anger from the Supreme Court’s decision to gut abortion rights might energize their voters to buck historical trends.

In Pennsylvania, Democratic Attorney General Josh Shapiro beat Republican Doug Mastriano to keep the governorship of a key presidential battleground state blue. Shapiro's victory rebuffed an election denier who some feared would not certify a Democratic presidential win in the state in 2024. Democrats Kathy Hochul of New York, Michelle Lujan Grisham of New Mexico and Janet Mills of Maine also repelled Republican challengers.

Georgia GOP Gov. Brian Kemp won reelection, defeating Stacey Abrams in a rematch of their 2018 race. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, two future possible Republican presidential contenders, beat back Democratic challengers to win in the nation’s two largest red states.

In Georgia, Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock and Republican challenger Herschel Walker were vying for a seat that could determine control of the Senate.

AP VoteCast, a broad survey of the national electorate, showed that high inflation and concerns about the fragility of democracy were heavily influencing voters.

Half of voters said inflation factored significantly, with groceries, gasoline, housing, food and other costs that have shot up in the past year. Slightly fewer — 44% — said the future of democracy was their primary consideration.

Overall, 7 in 10 voters said the ruling overturning the 1973 decision enshrining abortion rights was an important factor in their midterm decisions.

VoteCast also showed the reversal was broadly unpopular. About 6 in 10 say they are angry or dissatisfied by it, while about 4 in 10 were pleased. And roughly 6 in 10 say they favor a law guaranteeing access to legal abortion nationwide.

There were no widespread problems with ballots or voter intimidation reported around the country, though there were hiccups typical of most Election Days.

Voters also were deciding high-profile races for Senate or governor in places such as Pennsylvania, Nevada, Wisconsin, Arizona and Michigan. Contests also were on the ballot for secretaries of state, roles that typically generate little attention but have come under growing scrutiny as GOP contenders who refused to accept the results of the 2020 campaign were running to control the management of future elections.

In the first national election since the Jan. 6 insurrection, some who participated in or were in the vicinity of the attack on the U.S. Capitol were poised to win elected office, including several running for House seats.

In Ohio, Rep. Marcy Kaptur defeated Republican J.R. Majewski, who was at the U.S. Capitol during the deadly riot and who misrepresented his military service.

Democratic Reps. Abigail Spanberger and Jennifer Wexton held off spirited Republican challengers in Virginia districts the GOP had hoped to flip.

The 2022 elections are on track to cost a projected $16.7 billion at the state and federal level, making them the most expensive midterms ever, according to the nonpartisan campaign finance tracking organization OpenSecrets.

All House seats were up for grabs, as were 34 Senate seats — with cliffhangers especially likely in Pennsylvania, Georgia and Arizona.

Trump lifted two Republican Senate candidates to victory in Ohio and North Carolina. JD Vance, the bestselling author of “Hillbilly Elegy,” defeated 10-term congressman Tim Ryan, while Rep. Ted Budd beat Cheri Beasley, the former chief justice of the state Supreme Court.

Thirty-six states were electing governors. The GOP faced unexpected headwinds in flipping the governor’s office in conservative Kansas. Democrats, meanwhile, were nervous about their prospects in the governor’s race in Oregon, typically a liberal bastion.

Democrats easily repelled Republicans backed by Trump in several left-leaning states, while tougher tests that could decide control of Congress and the future of Biden’s presidency awaited in more competitive territory.

Despite their liberal history, states like Massachusetts, Maryland and Illinois have elected moderate Republican governors in the past. But the Republicans this year appeared to be too conservative in these states, handing Democrats easy victories in midterm elections that could otherwise prove difficult for the party.

Massachusetts and Maryland also saw historic firsts: Democrat Maura Healey became the first woman elected as Massachusetts governor, as well as the first openly lesbian governor of any state, and Wes Moore became the first Black governor of Maryland.

Healey bested Geoff Diehl in Massachusetts and Moore beat Dan Cox in Maryland, while Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker defeated state Sen. Darren Bailey. Bolduc, Cox and Bailey were among the far-right Republicans that Democrats spent tens of millions of dollars to bolster during the primaries, betting they would be easier to beat in general elections than their more moderate rivals.

An especially strong election for the GOP could put pressure on Biden to opt against a reelection run in 2024. Trump, meanwhile, may try to capitalize on GOP gains by formally launching another bid for the White House during a “very big announcement” in Florida next week.

The former president endorsed more than 300 candidates in the midterm cycle and is hoping to use Republican victories as a springboard for a 2024 presidential campaign.

“Well, I think if they win, I should get all the credit. And if they lose, I should not be blamed at all. But it will probably be just the opposite,” Trump said in an interview with NewsNation.

It could be days or even weeks before races — and potentially, control of Congress — are decided. Some states with mail voting, such as Michigan, saw an increase in ballot returns compared with the 2018 midterm. Those votes can take longer to count because, in many states, ballots must be postmarked by Tuesday but might not arrive at election offices until days later. In Georgia's Senate race, the candidates must win at least 50% of the vote to avoid a Dec. 6 runoff.


Associated Press writers Corey Williams in Southfield, Mich., Anita Snow in Phoenix, Claudia Lauer in Philadelphia and Jacquelyn Martin contributed to this report.


Follow the AP’s coverage of the 2022 midterm elections at And learn more about the issues and factors at play in the midterms at

  • Associated Categories: U.S. News, Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top U.S. News short headlines, Top General short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News, AP Elections, General Election News, General Presidential Election News, General Senate Election News, General House Election News, AP Business, AP Elections - Campaigns, AP Business - Economy
© Copyright 2023
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
GOP, Democrats notch victories in competitive midterm races
Both parties are notching victories in some of the most competitive races in Tuesday’s midterm elections, with several Democratic incumbents winning key suburban House districts and Republicans holding an open Senate seat in Ohio
11:39PM ( 7 minutes ago )
Stacey Abrams concedes to Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp in rematch
Stacey Abrams has called Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp to concede in their rematch, according to his campaign
11:39PM ( 7 minutes ago )
GOP’s Abbott wins 3rd term as Texas governor, beats O’Rourke
Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has won a third term following one of the most expensive races of the 2022 midterm elections
11:35PM ( 11 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
2022 midterms live updates: Latest election news from AP
Election night is here
11:10PM ( 36 minutes ago )
GOP pushes in close races to break 1-party hold on Congress
Energized Republicans are waging a grinding push in hard-fought races as they struggle to break the Democrats’ one-party hold on Washington and upend President Joe Biden’s once-lofty agenda
11:05PM ( 41 minutes ago )
Asian shares mixed as market await vote results, price data
Asian shares are mixed as investors await the outcome of the U.S. midterm elections and a major inflation update due later in the week
11:03PM ( 42 minutes ago )
AP National News
AP VoteCast: Inflation, democracy drive demoralized voters
The AP VoteCast survey shows that high inflation and fears about democracy’s health weighed heavily on U.S. voters in the midterm elections
9:58PM ( 1 hour ago )
Abortion bans, protections awaiting verdicts from voters
Abortion was on the ballot in several states Tuesday, months after the Supreme Court overturned the nationwide right to abortion in a decision that led to near-total bans in a dozen states
9:55PM ( 1 hour ago )
Myanmar tops Asian summit's agenda as global issues loom
Southeast Asian leaders are convening in Cambodia, faced with the challenge of trying to curtail escalating violence in Myanmar while the country’s military-led government shows no signs of complying with the group’s peace plan
9:21PM ( 2 hours ago )
Top General short headlines
GOP eager to take Congress; Pelosi says Dems intend to win
Eager to claw back power in Congress, energized Republicans are working to break the Democrats’ one-party hold on Washington and threaten the future of President Joe Biden’s agenda
9:35PM ( 2 hours ago )
Amid intense scrutiny, Americans vote with no major hitches
The final day of voting in the 2022 midterms unfolded without major disruptions or widespread problems
9:29PM ( 2 hours ago )
Control of Congress, future of Biden agenda in voters’ hands
Control of Congress and the future of President Joe Biden’s agenda are at stake as voters decide races for the House and Senate along with dozens of governorships and key election posts
8:29PM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
Polls close in 2 dozen states; new governors make history
Polls have closed in two dozen states as the nation votes in the first midterm elections of Joe Biden’s presidency, with control of Congress, governorships and other key races hanging in the balance
8:02PM ( 3 hours ago )
1st Gen Z candidate, Dem Frost wins Florida US House seat
Democrat Maxwell Alejandro Frost has defeated Republican Calvin Wimbish for a Florida U.S. House seat, making him the first member of Generation Z to win a seat in Congress
7:41PM ( 4 hours ago )
Republican Sen. Rand Paul wins 3rd term in Kentucky
Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky has won a third term, defeating Charles Booker, the first Black Democratic nominee for the Senate in the Bluegrass State
7:22PM ( 4 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
EXPLAINER: How can the AP call races right as polls close?
The Associated Press could declare winners in some races in this year’s midterm elections at the moment polls close Tuesday
9:50PM ( 1 hour ago )
Mishaps, distrust spur Election Day misinformation
Election machine mishaps and delays in vote counting became the latest fodder for political misinformation on Election Day
7:36PM ( 4 hours ago )
Election scrutiny high, but US votes without major hitches
Americans voted without major hitches in midterm elections that drew intense scrutiny after two years of false claims and conspiracy theories about how ballots are cast and counted
6:06PM ( 5 hours ago )
AP Elections
Wall Street drifts ahead of election results, inflation data
Stocks are mixed in tentative trading as Wall Street braces for the results from the day’s midterm elections and a big update on inflation that’s due later in the week
2:39PM ( 9 hours ago )
Trump ally faces election defender in Arizona governor race
The appeal of Donald Trump’s movement will be put to the test Tuesday in the race for governor of Arizona
2:27PM ( 9 hours ago )
Election scrutiny high, but no big hitches as voting begins
Final voting began without major hitches Tuesday in midterm elections under intense scrutiny after two years of false claims and conspiracy theories about how ballots are cast and counted
12:40PM ( 11 hours ago )
General Election News
Trump says he'll make 'big announcement' Nov. 15
Former President Donald Trump says he will be making a “big announcement” next week in Florida
10:16PM ( 1 day ago )
6 things to watch ahead of high-stakes midterm elections
All 50 states are hosting midterm elections that will determine the balance of power in Washington and state capitals across the nation
3:10PM ( 1 day ago )
What to watch in the high-stakes 2022 midterm elections
All 50 states are hosting midterm elections that will determine the balance of power in Washington and state capitals across the nation
7:22AM ( 1 day ago )
General Senate Election News
Pelosi says attack on husband weighs on her future plans
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said her decision on whether or not to remain in Congress if Democrats lose control in the midterm elections has been impacted by the assault on her husband
9:50PM ( 1 day ago )
EXPLAINER: The need-to-know basics for the U.S. midterm
If you’re tuning in now to Election Day in the U.S., voting in the midterm election ends when polls close on Tuesday
4:43PM ( 1 day ago )
GOP's Cheney endorses Virginia Democrat Abigail Spanberger
Republican Rep. Liz Cheney has crossed the political aisle again this election year and endorsed a Democratic colleague in a competitive House race
5:29PM ( 3 days ago )
General House Election News
Climate protesters target Warhol art in Australian gallery
Climate protesters in Australia scrawled graffiti and glued themselves to an Andy Warhol artwork depicting Campbell’s soup cans but didn’t appear to damage the piece because it’s encased in glass
11:08PM ( 38 minutes ago )
US presses, but Russia reluctant on Ukraine grain deal
The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations has told Ukrainian farmers that extending a wartime deal to export Ukrainian grains across the Black Sea is a priority
8:33PM ( 3 hours ago )
A's still pursuing Oakland ballpark with eye on Las Vegas
Oakland Athletics general manager David Forst says the A's are still interested in staying in the Bay Area if a stadium deal can be completed
8:24PM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Business
Fierce fights over US House, LA mayor top California ballot
California's midterm elections are coming to a close with a burst of house-to-house campaigning and nonstop TV advertising
6:47PM ( 1 day ago )
AP sources: Justice Dept. watchdog probing Mass. US attorney
The Justice Department’s internal watchdog is investigating the top federal prosecutor in Massachusetts, prompted by U.S. Attorney Rachel Rollins’ appearance at a political fundraiser featuring first lady Jill Biden
6:22PM ( 1 day ago )
US stocks gain ground ahead of midterm elections in US
Stocks rose on Wall Street as campaigning winds down for midterm elections in the U.S. that will determine which party controls Congress
2:48PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Elections - Campaigns
Crypto exchange Binance to buy rival FTX in apparent bailout
The cryptocurrency exchange Binance said it plans to buy its rival FTX Trading, in the latest example of how fortunes can change rapidly in the crypto world
2:19PM ( 9 hours ago )
Treaty against fossil fuels floated at UN climate summit
The leader of the small island nation of Tuvalu has proposed a treaty against fossil fuels as world leaders make the case for tougher action to tackle global warming
1:49PM ( 9 hours ago )
Stocks rise on Wall Street ahead of election, inflation data
Stocks rose on Wall Street as Americans head to the polls to vote in midterm elections that are being heavily influenced by inflation and the threat of a recession
12:22PM ( 11 hours ago )
AP Business - Economy
Stacey Abrams concedes to Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp in rematch
Stacey Abrams has called Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp to concede in their rematch, according to his campaign
11:39PM ( 7 minutes ago )
GOP’s Abbott wins 3rd term as Texas governor, beats O’Rourke
Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has won a third term following one of the most expensive races of the 2022 midterm elections
11:35PM ( 11 minutes ago )
In Maryland, Moore elected as state's first Black governor
Democrat Wes Moore has been elected Maryland’s first Black governor
11:20PM ( 26 minutes ago )
Tough fight for Congress as 1st Democratic incumbent falls
Republicans and Democrats are in a tight race for control of Congress and governors’ offices, with the outcome determining the future of Joe Biden’s agenda as polls have closed across most of the country
11:14PM ( 32 minutes ago )
Democratic Rep. Sanford Bishop fights to defend Georgia seat
Georgia's senior congressman is facing his toughest reelection battle in more than a decade in the Deep South's only competitive U.S. House race
11:11PM ( 36 minutes ago )